Jake’s First Plane Ride

Jake’s First Plane Ride

One of Joe’s groomsmen got married over the weekend and so we took that as an opportunity to take a quick family trip to Springfield, Illinois. This was Jake’s first trip on an airplane and let me tell ya, I was so nervous. You always hear horror stories about babies screaming for the full flight so when Jake decided to skip his afternoon nap, my hopes seemed dashed. So we headed to the airport hoping for the best.

 

TSA was a breeze, even with a car seat, but Joe got flagged and had to get everything he touched swabbed and then taken to a back room to be privately patted down. In the meantime, Jake befriended the Chief TSA officer and earned his Junior TSA badge sticker. With a 6:50 PM take off time, we had a few hours to kill in the terminal so we grabbed dinner and showed Jake around the DFW Airport (did you know that they have a private nursing room!!!???). The kid was super social and made tons of friends. Then with 2 minutes before boarding I decided to change his diaper. He promptly peed all over himself and then puked all over me. (Thanks, kid. Thanks.) Jake had stayed up for about 6 hours since his last nap at this point, so I cut him some slack. We boarded the tiny plane and settled in. I had planned on feeding him during take off (this apparently helps babies’ ears pop) and it worked like a charm. The sweet babe was asleep in my arms. PRAISE GOD. With a 2 hour flight time, Joe and I got comfy and got our cokes and peanuts. Jake had other plans. He woke up after a 30 minute nap and was ready to play. Thankfully, our fellow passengers were more than willing and everyone had a grand time.

 

We landed at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, hopped in our rental car, and checked into the Quality Inn. Finally. Sleep….. NOT. Jake, again, had other ideas. With no crib or pack n play, Jake slept with us and decided that this hotel bed needed to be bounced on and proceeded to bounce and play until almost midnight with no relief for his exhausted parents. But finally he tuckered out.

Saturday: With a wedding at 1:00 PM and the reception at 5:00 PM, we had plenty of time for naps and adventure. We spent our morning visiting the home of none of than Abraham Friggin Lincoln! Y’all. I honestly didn’t realize that Springfield was Lincoln’s hometown until we flew into the airport and saw his face everywhere. So I was a very happy history buff.

 

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Joe and I had fun exploring the National Historic Monument but Jake was not impressed by Ranger John’s tour. His favorite part was eating the grass in Honest Abe’s backyard. My highlight was the kid who got his knee stuck in the railing only to be freed by a tub of lanolin. The Rangers told us it was a first and so we considered ourselves honored to have witnessed his escape.

After a quick nap, we headed to the church for the wedding. It was a sweet service with a ton of kids so Jake was in good company. Joe got to catch up with one of his college friends and other groomsmen, Nate, and Jake ate some more grass.

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We then headed to the Walmart across the street from our hotel to buy some swimsuits to take advantage of the hotel pool. We let Jake pick out his own and he decided upon Baby Shark swim trunks. I picked a suit that I didn’t hate and Joe grabbed a classic blue number all for under $10/piece. Way to go Walmart.  Jake and I took a nap while Dad and Nate caught up some more and we all went to the pool… which Jake thoroughly HATED. We slowly waded through the water as daddy splashed around to show Jake how fun swimming can be. But after about 10 minutes, we decided to call it and get ready for the reception.

 

The reception was fun and Jake enjoyed eating green beans and roast beef but his favorite part was crawling under all the tables and, you guessed it, eating more grass. We said goodbye to the bride and groom and headed back to the hotel.

Sunday: We woke up at 4:00 AM to make a 5:45 AM flight and this time, Jake promptly passed out and slept the entire time. Overall, taking a baby on a plane was nothing to stress about and we had fun on our super short adventure to the Midwest. Word on the street is we will be going to Iceland next year for the World Geothermal Conference so Jake will hopefully be a seasoned traveler by then!

Behind The Ring

Behind The Ring

For those of you who know Joe, you know he is a very resourceful person. So it should come as no surprise to learn that he dug the gems for my engagement ring out of the ground. He had always wanted to make the ring his proposed with from scratch. Yes, SCRATCH. He wanted to forage for all the materials down to the silver but after realizing this was a lofty goal, he settled for the gemstones. So how did he do it?

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Photography by Cottonwood Road Photography

First, let’s go over the basics. Did you know gemstones are actually minerals but not all minerals are gemstones? Minerals have to be super pretty to be considered gems and those gems are then polished and cut into jewelry-quality stones (Example: Quartz is pretty much worthless but under the right conditions, it’s also amethyst). The minerals lucky enough to call themselves ‘gems’ are classified into two categories based on their rarity:

Precious: diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire.

Semi-precious: Amber, calcite, jade, amethyst, topaz, etc.

This designation can change at a moment’s notice. Amethyst used to be considered one of the cool kids but got demoted as more and more deposits were found. Overall, the value of a gemstone is rated using the “Four C’s”: cut, clarity, color, and carat. The reddest, largest, clearest ruby is considered the best. Pretty simple.  There are a lot of minerals in the United States and there are actually a lot of places that will you allow you to hunt for your own. So Joe had a few options. Luckily for him, Texas is known for its blue topaz and for good reason. Blue topaz occurs naturally in only two places on earth: Brazil and Mason County, Texas, making it pretty rare.

FUN FACT: Did you know that diamonds are not actually rare? The only reason why you see them in the precious gem category is because of a diamond monopoly and really good advertising.

 

Joe took two trips over a 6 month period to pan for topaz in the creeks of Mason County. On the first trip, he didn’t find anything. But on trip #2, he found the three stones used in my ring. In their natural state, gems are considered “raw” and need to be cut (the Four C’s!) and polished. So just because you find a decent sized gem doesn’t mean that’s the size it’s going to be in the ring. Thankfully the stones he found did the trick and he walked away with a 3 carat white topaz and two 1 carat blue topaz.

 

He took the gems to his friend’s jewelry studio, Gevandov, and he was able to match Joe up with someone who would cut the topaz for him. Joe chose the arrangement and viola. All he had to do was pop the question. Now, I was fully aware that Joe wanted to make the ring himself. So needless to say, I was a bit nervous as to what the ring was going to look like. Joe knew the types of settings I liked and had asked me general questions on colors and styles. The rest was blind trust that Joe knew what he was doing. On September 18, 2014, he dropped the knee and popped the question. I grabbed the ring out of his hand before he could finish the proposal.

was absolutely floored by how good he did. It’s an absolutely gorgeous ring and so

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Photo by Ron Accord Photography

much work and thought went into it. One of my favorite things about it is the fact its not perfect. If you look closely, there is an “impurity” in the main stone. Looks like a splinter. What a perfect reminder that marriage doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

If you are interested in hunting for topaz (or any rocks or minerals), Joe and I would love to be your guides. Let us know!

 

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Batir we go to EarthX!

Batir we go to EarthX!

Most people consider us a ‘granola’ family. We compost, recycle, make our own baby food, use cloth diapers, wear natural deodorant, have a urban garden, backyard chickens, etc. So obviously, us going to Fair Park to spend a day at EarthX 2019 is a no brainer. I tried to no avail to get friends and coworkers excited about this annual event, but not a lot people know what to expect. So let us show you! Welcome to a day at EarthX 2019!

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EarthX is the LARGEST ‘environmental experience’ in the WORLD! Right here in Dallas, Texas and it’s free! Usually aligning with Earth Day (this year it’s April 27th & 28th), Fair Park is taken over by planet-friendly vendors and environmental enthusiasts dedicated to helping the average earthling better understand how they can make a positive impact on the planet. PLUS, they give out a ton of free goodies to help you do so.

We started our day at Big Tex’s house. He isn’t there when the Fair isn’t going on but

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it made a great meeting place to rendezvous with my mom who decided to join us. Then we headed to the main exhibition hall which is full of over 200 vendors!

Though overwhelming, this is where you get your goodies. Joe likes to talk to every vendor and sign up for giveaways, raffles, you name it… which can take quite a while but when he comes back with free stuff, I can’t blame him! Check out the slideshow below to see just a taste of the stuff you can get throughout the park:

 

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Next, we checked out the tiny house exhibit. There are a group of tiny houses on display that people actually live in full time. As you tour their home, you can ask them anything you like from how much the house cost to how they are able to fit everything they need in such a small space. There was a family of 7 that converted a school bus into a home for $20,000! That’s crazy!

 

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Next, it was lunchtime, so we headed toward the food trucks. On the way, we passed by some goat yoga. Still don’t understand what the hype is but the yogis seemed to be enjoying it.

 

There are a ton of food options for you to choose from and they usually have a lot of vegan and veggie friendly trucks there if you are interested in trying something different. We grabbed chicken and waffles because, why not? We set up Jake’s portable highchair and let him snack on some blueberries while we munched away.

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Painted rocks from Grandma!

With our bellies full, we did a final walk around, got some free Tehuacan carbonated water (the new Topo Chico) and headed home. Since Jake is so young, we weren’t able to fully appreciate all the kids activities they have at EarthX. The entire Food & Fiber pavilion is full of arts and crafts, hands-on science experiments, and there are even animals to interact with. Another thing we love about EarthX is hearing from different vendors on new technology, cool new products, and updates on what’s new in DFW. Here are a few highlights:

 

There was this portable/instant/biodegradable grill that was really cool. For only $15/piece (2 for $20 at EarthX), this grill heats to 600 degrees in only 5 minutes and burns for almost 6 hours, allowing you to cook a full meal and have heat left over for smores. We thought this was such a neat idea for camping because it doesn’t require any clean-up. You can either throw it away or use it as kindling in your bonfire.

Coca-Cola has had a tent for the past two years showcasing what the company is doing to to be more sustainable. That’s cool and all but the thing we love about their tent is that they give away free rain barrels used from old corn syrup containers! A standard rain barrel can run anywhere from $60-$100 dollars so this freebie is definitely the best one at the convention.

We also stopped by Texas Outdoor Family’s table. Texas Outdoor Family teaches families the basic outdoor skills needed for a great camping trip. TOF is run by Texas Parks and Wildlife and after surveying the park visitors, they realized that the typical park campers are middle aged white men, which isn’t the best representation of the demographics of Texas. But camping can be intimating to families. Either they don’t know where to go or they can’t afford all the gear. So the TOF program encourages families to get outside explore all the awesome parks we have in Texas by providing all the gear you need and all the park fees for only $65 per family for the weekend. They even have a bunch of cooking supples you can pick through to make your camping trip a success. You just return everything when you are done. As avid campers ourselves, we thought this was a really neat idea.

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Overall, it was another successful year at EarthX. Tomorrow is the last day so be sure to check it out! Register online for free at their website (Earthx.org) or pay $5 at the door. And remember, it doesn’t take much to be more planet-friendly. Reducing your carbon footprint just a little bit makes a world of a difference. Happy Earth Day, earthlings!

 

 

Failure to Thrive 3: Tokyo Drift

Failure to Thrive 3: Tokyo Drift

If you missed the Fast and the Furious reference and thought this was going to be a blog about us going to Tokyo… then I suggest you go watch the Fast and the Furious movies.

We had our appointment with the Pediatrician this afternoon. They measured Jake’s height and weight and he is back on track!! He is back on a curve and no longer in the 1 percentile for weight or height. We are so relieved to no longer have to count calories and worry about the amount of food he is intaking. Now, our Pedi will send Jake’s data to the GI at Children’s Medical Hospital and he will officially give us the thumbs up and clear us. There is a chance that the GI will want to do one final blood test to ensure Jake’s liver enzyme levels are back to normal (the last two tests were high). So we may have one more test to go but the Pedi said everything looked great!

In the midst of the good news, I found some more things to worry about. The Pedi said that Jake “needs to get at least one tooth by 12 months” and so of course I spiraled just a tiny bit. When do parents ever stop worrying about their kids?! Joe was quick to remind me that we don’t need to worry about anything. Again, the reoccurring theme: God is in control and we are not. So as we say goodbye to the Failure to Thrive diagnosis, we enter the great unknown that is Jake’s life. We are excited to see what God has in store for our little guy and how he will sanctify Joe and I in the process.

Failure to Thrive: Part 2

Failure to Thrive: Part 2

I have been overwhelmed by the thoughts and prayers sent our way since our family update in January. We are seriously so blessed to have the support of friends and family! So thank you for reaching out! It has been 4 months since Jake’s “failure to thrive” diagnosis and we take him for his 9 month check-up on Friday. This is a standard check-up that all babies have but for us, it’s a bit different. They will take his height and weight measurements and will let us know if he is tracking well or if they want to do further testing. Needless the say, we are hoping for good news!

The last 4 months have been a growing opportunity for us, teaching us to trust the Lord with our kids. I know being pregnant, all I did was worry that Jake was growing like he should and that he would be born “healthy”. Now that he is born, this season has been a very real reminder that we are not in control of anything and “healthy” is subjective. I have been so thankful that the Lord has taken away any anxiety or worry and allowed us to just enjoy this life stage. From our perspective, he is happy and ‘thriving’ and we have enjoyed ever second of him!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” – Proverbs 3: 5-6

We are trusting that God is in control of Jake’s life and health and that whatever the results may be from his appointment on Friday, God is still sovereign. We appreciate all the prayers and ask that you continue to pray for Jake and for us.

-The Batirs

Reflections from 10 years of Student Ministry

Reflections from 10 years of Student Ministry

In a few weeks, my time leading high-schoolers will come to an end. I’ve been serving with Watermark’s student ministries since 2008, when I was a freshman in college. Working with middle and high-schoolers has honestly been one of the highlights of my life and something I will truly miss. I am very passionate about this age group because I feel that they have been largely misunderstood and undervalued by our society. It’s such a precious time of coming of age and the time you really start learning what a personal relationship with the Lord looks like. I’ve learned a lot by watching my girls grow from gangly 6th graders to opinionated 18 year olds and now that I am a parent, there are some things that I want to make sure I remember about this stage of life:

Being a teen doesn’t make your feelings invalid.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of middle school? Hormones. It’s a crazy time of changing bodies, hormonal swings, and ridiculously short dating relationships. However, I think it’s really dangerous to disregard teenager’s emotions as just hormone swings. Teens are typically a lot more open with their feelings than adults. They just don’t know how to process them yet. So when a teen is hyper emotional about something, don’t dismiss it. This is a great opportunity to help them learn how to process their emotions by talking about them and teach them how to deal with their feelings in a healthy way.  You may think whatever they are going through is the stupidest thing in the world, but it is VERY real to them. Just because they are a teenager doesn’t mean they aren’t old enough to be taken seriously. Meet them where they are.

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Students deal with very real and tough situations. 

I’ve heard time and time again, “you’re only 16, how hard can your life really be?” Very hard actually. I have walked through situations with students that I wouldn’t wish on anyone: Sexual assault, death of a parent, abandonment, rejection, suicide… the list goes on and on. Tragedy and evil do not discriminate against young people. To qualify how hard someone’s life is by how old they are is naive and dangerous. We live in a sinful world and that sin has horrendous effects on the lives of children. When tragedy strikes, they need people in their lives who will treat them with dignity, jump in the trenches with them, and point them toward Christ.

Social media cannot be avoided.

It is no surprise that social media is having a negative affect on kids of all ages. In my community group, the top parenting topic we always discuss is how to protect our kids from technology and I’ve seen how dangerous Instagram and Snapchat have been in the teen girls’ lives. However, I don’t think we need to keep our kids away from social media. I think we need to equip them to use it properly. Tools are only dangerous when used in dangerous ways. The key is to have open conversations about what tech kids are using and being educated on what those platforms can be used for.

I think we get caught up on the fact that Social media provides access to porn, bullying, body image issues, comparison, jealousy, online predators, etc. Those are all things we obviously want teens to avoid but these things have existed much longer than Instagram and will continue to exist long after. At the end of the day, we live in a sinful world and until Jesus comes back, that isn’t going to change. If a teen wants to access something, they are going to find a way to do it. They are way smarter than us! We just have to equip teens to deal with sin in a biblical way and train them on how to avoid falling into sinful habits.

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If you lower the bar, they will go lower. 

It’s hard to motivate a teenager to do something they don’t want to do. Bribery and compromise as parenting tools start young (my 9 month old is well acquainted to them). But I found that when challenged, by and large, teens will rise to the occasion. They want you to challenge them. They want to be pushed beyond what they think they can achieve and if you set the bar low, they will under-deliver every time. Why would they want to give their best when you aren’t expecting the best from them? I think it can be so easy as a small group leader to dumb down the curriculum or decrease the amount of ‘homework’ in the hopes that it will guarantee that the students will do it. But you are ultimately cheating them of the opportunity and cheapening the activity. Ultimately, challenging them sets them up for success.

Care about what they care about.

When my girls were in middle school you know what I did? I made sure I knew the names of the members of One Direction and the top shows on Disney Channel. Now that they are in high school, I am up-to-date on who Logan Paul is and the current teenage slang (“Weird flex but ok.”).  Why? Because when you want to get teens talking, you talk to them about stuff they know and are interested in. If you belittle their hobbies and their fandoms, you are essentially calling them silly and unimportant. Educating yourself on what’s popular at the time is a great way to stay connected and to stay aware of what your teen is filling your brain with. A win-win!

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Don’t expect change overnight. 

It can be so frustrating to teach the same thing week after week for years and years and not see any change. But as they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Sometimes it takes years of teaching for things to click. Everyone learns and grows at their own pace. Don’t rush the process. I think it’s so easy to blame yourself for someone’s lack of growth, especially spiritual growth. But as a small group leader, you just have to be faithful to show up, teach, and trust that God will do the rest. It’s really up to the student on whether they want to take what they have been taught and apply it. Ultimately, a relationship with the Lord is a personal choice that each person has to make for themselves.

Time. 

They may be angsty, they may be moody, and they may not want to but spending quality time is so important. Actions speak louder than words so being physically present speaks volumes. That means going to games, going to plays, having late night phone calls, coffee meet ups, etc etc. Make them a priority. That way when they need to talk to someone, they know that they can call you and you’ll pick up the phone. Being physically there means you’ll be emotionally there.

Share your life.

A lot can happen in a decade and my girls have had a front seat at the major moments of my life. They watched me date my would-be husband. They watched me plan a wedding. They passed our programs at the wedding. They were some of the first people to know I was pregnant and are now watching me learn how to be a parent (not to mention the life that happened in between!). My goal was to live a life that I wouldn’t be ashamed to tell the girls about. This kept me out of trouble and (hopefully) allowed the girls to get an honest look at the highs and lows of adulthood. I pray that my son has someone in his life who he can watch pursue Christ and be honest at how hard it is to pursue Him well.

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HAVE FUN. 

My favorite memories of the last 10 years are the silly times. The bad jokes, the Disney jam sessions. The farkles and the really bad Halloween costumes. Life is hard so have fun doing it. Being silly and having fun brings people together and creates lifelong memories. The last 10 years have been challenging, rewarding, and SO FUN. I’m just so thankful that God gave me this opportunity. It’s been one of the greatest joys of my life to love on my girls. They have changed me in ways they could never know and for that I am forever grateful.

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My Top 5 Mom Tools

My Top 5 Mom Tools

I’ve been a mom for 8.5 months now which means I am absolutely NOT a professional. Most days I am questioning my ability to keep my tiny human alive. However, I have collected a few tools that I feel have been essential to my motherhood journey. And so I give you, in no particular order, my top 5 mom tools:

1. Hairbands (AKA – A Temporary Mom-cut)
Look. Not all of us can pull off a pixie cut but we also can only take our kid pulling/chewing/eating our hair for so long. So for those of us who are actively trying to avoid being mistaken for Kate Gosselin, a pack of run-of-the-mill hairbands are a life saver.

 

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2.  A buff. 

You don’t need to be a Survivor fan to see the many uses for a buff. When our son was still sleeping in our room, we had a nightlight so we could make sure he was still breathing (any other new parents out there constantly check to see if their kid is still alive?). I slept with my buff as a sleep mask which was perfect for nighttime feedings. When it was time to feed Jake, I would push the buff up and it would keep my hair out of my face. Dual purpose, am I right? (*high fives self*)

The sky is really the limit when it comes to practical

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uses for a buff:

  • use as a sleep mask
  • hairband
  • burp cloth
  • run out of diapers? got you covered.
  • baby had a blow out and no change of clothes? BOOM.

Ok… so I’ve yet to try the last two so someone try it out and let me know how it goes!

 

3. Carabiners. 

Parenting is an adventure and as the boy scouts say, “Be prepared”. One of my go-to tools for preparedness is my trusty carabiner. Carabiners aren’t just for rock climbers. Anyone can utilize this simple yet convenient tool and, as parents, having an additional hand is always useful. I keep one on my car keys and have used it so many times when I need some extra help. The trick is to get yourself a hefty one, not that $1 one you got from Wally World. Those break quickly and when dealing with kiddos, the last thing you need is your groceries to fall to the ground while your baby is screaming. So invest in a $5 one from REI and you’ll be good to go.

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4. Cloth diapers. 

Now hear me out on this one. I am not advocating cloth diapers for all. They are not for everyone or all lifestyles. However, I do think everyone needs a couple of cloth diapers as back-up. We intermix both cloth and disposable (cloth while at home during the day and disposable while we are out and about as well as at nighttime) but we have always appreciated the fact that we never have to worry about running out of diapers in the middle of the night because we forgot to run to the store earlier that day. We always have a way to keep our baby’s butt covered and dry. Cloth diapers have come a LONG way since we were babies and they are way easier to use than ever before. I definitely recommend making the investment and saving them for a rainy day. They also make good transitional diapers for potty training!

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5. A car power converter.

img_0771I’m a working mom and so pumping is part of my regular routine. Due to the nature of my job, I’m in my car A LOT and so my power converter has been worth it’s weight in liquid gold, allowing me to pump on the go. I’ve pumped behind sketchy warehouses, in grocery store parking lots, while driving… you name it, I’ve probably pumped there! PLUS – it works for literally anything with a plug so once I stop pumping, this vital tool will live on for a multitude of uses.

 

Failure to Thrive: Part 1

Failure to Thrive: Part 1

Time for a family update.

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5 day old Jake!

On the 18th, Jake will be 6 months old… which is kind of crazy when I take the time to think about it. A lot has happened in his little life. When Jake was born, he was 7 lbs 10 oz and 21 inches long. 97% for height. Joe and I were shocked. How did we average height folk produce such a future basketball prodigy?!

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He continued to track pretty tall for the first few months and was packing weight on like a champ. Which is a lot to say for a baby who is a champion spitter. I’m talking exorcist baby.

At each of his appointments, he was tracking well, hitting his milestones, etc. After the two month appointment, the next one isn’t for 2 more months.

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So proud of outgrowing his swaddle.

Jake was doing great. He was already standing up (assisted), trying to talk, growing out of clothes, all typical/normal things to expect was a growing baby. So when we got to the pediatrician on November 19th we were looking forward to seeing how much he had grown. Turns out… he hadn’t grown at all. In two whole months, Jake had only grown .25 inches and gained less than a pound of weight. The pedi wasn’t too concerned and gave us a prescription for Zantec, an anti-reflux medicine to help the little guy keep his food down, and scheduled us for a weight check in a week. One week later… some improvement! Looks like the meds helped him pack on a few more ounces. Just to be safe, they had us come back in two more weeks for another weight check….

And…. he got taller! But no change in weight. He was tracking in everything developmentally but just wasn’t gaining weight. So they sent us to Children’s Medical Center to meet with a gastrointestinal doctor to see if there was something more serious going on.

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Let me tell you… putting that infant hospital gown on my son was pretty surreal. I’ve known friends who have had to admit their children to the hospital for pretty serious matters and I cannot imagine the strength it takes to see your child in that place day after day. But for now, Jake was having fun in his new outfit and almost rolled over for the first time on the hospital bed waiting for the doctor to see us.

The doctor was super nice and kind. The said that Jake looked super healthy. He had chubby legs, was active, alert, engaging… all good signs. He actually wasn’t concerned about the weight… what he was concerned about was the height.

“Um… excuse me?”

You mean the one thing Jake has going for him? His height? How on earth could that be an issue? He then proceeded to tell us that while taking his vitals, they measured him and did not get the numbers our pediatrician did. In fact, they show he hadn’t grown really at all height wise in more than 2 months. Below you can see the highlighted dot… that’s what the hospital got when they measured him. As you can see, his growth pattern is a hot mess…. and it appears that he shrunk. height

The GI told us to meet with his dietitian after the exam to discuss feeding options and that he wanted to get full blood work done, a skeleton scan, and get Jake an appointment with an endocrinologist.

Jake had officially been labeled “failure to thrive”. It was quite a lot to take in.

We immediately scheduled the skeleton scan (the little guy got 23 x-rays taken) and the blood work done as well as started his new diet of highly concentrated formula during the day while I was at work. The endocrinologist couldn’t see us until April so we waited for the results…

X-Rays: NORMAL.

Blood work: NORMAL.

Which was a huge relief. Poor Jake had been through the ringer. He was getting Zantac twice a day. All those x-rays, his blood drawn. Being poked and prodded. On top of that he had a cold and had started teething. Not to mention the fact that we found out he was tested for alopecia… We were glad to be done with it.IMG_0429

And then the doctor called.

“His blood work looks good. All normal. But he did have elevated liver enzymes… now this isn’t something to be alarmed about necessarily. The liver processes everything in the body. So for example, the enzymes would be elevated if say he was fighting a virus [he had a cold]. But to be safe. I want to schedule him for a sonogram of the liver.”

You have got to be kidding me.

And so that is where we are. Trying to schedule a sonogram of a 6 month old’s liver. It’s really hard not knowing what’s wrong (or if there is anything wrong at all!). We’ve been tossed back and forth between doctors who all think something different. One thinks his weight is an issue but to the height. The other thinks the weight is fine, but the height is worrisome. Start him on solids early. “DON’T START HIM ON SOLIDS YET!!” “Everything looks normal but let’s just double check…”

Truthfully, this has all been exhausting and, ultimately, this has been a rough reminder that we are not in control. God is. The Lord knit Jake inside my womb. He knows every hair on his NOT HAIRLESS head (I swear he has eyebrows!). He has counted his days and knows exactly what is happening in his tiny little body. We can rest in knowing that no matter what happens. God is with us. We don’t know what 2019 holds for Jake or for our family but we know that we serve a good and loving God who knew 2019 before the he created this planet and that is a comfort indeed.

Ladies, Find Yourself a Joe

Ladies, Find Yourself a Joe

I don’t brag about him enough but I won the marriage lottery when I married Joe. He is funny and caring and godly and not to mention a stone cold fox ;)! Lately, I have been super impressed by how he has stepped up in his role as father. Since the day we got pregnant, he has been incredibly helpful and willing to do anything and everything to help me out. dadDuring my pregnancy, he did his research and was generally interested in the process. At my appointments, the doctor and nurses were regularly surprised by his thoughtful questions about me, the baby, and the pregnancy in general. He came with me to my breastfeeding class and TOOK NOTES which proved to be super helpful when Jake was born. He gave me nightly foot massages when my feet swelled up and talked me off the cliff when the idea of  motherhood seemed too overwhelming. For the birth, I had to have an unplanned c-section which meant Joe had to do double duty. He changed diapers, burped, and basically did everything that I couldn’t do since I was bedridden for 48 hours. When we got home, he continued to wake up with me during nighttime feedings to helpfamily as my incision healed and has continued to get up with me even now and share the burden of sleep deprivation. Now that I am back at work, he is a full time dad and honestly ROCKING AT IT (follow his instagram for some hilarious #daddydaycare posts at @bikecommuterjoe). Even though it’s not the ideal situation for our family, he has stepped up to the plate and filled the stay at home role flawlessly. Jake and I are truly blessed to have him as a husband and father.

I don’t know who would be upset about a father taking care of his kids but this week the internet caught fire due to a comment Piers Morgan tweeted about Daniel Craig (AKA, James Bond) using a “papoose” to carry his newborn daughter:

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And THANKFULLY Piers was promptly yelled at by men across of the globe who stood up for 007. I don’t know about you, but I am so glad that men in our society have embraced the wonderful world of Fatherhood. Gone are the days of the 50’s household where parenting was “women’s work”. Fathers are more and more engaged in their children’s lives and well being which is enormously important! I am so thankful that Joe isn’t

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emasculated by taking care of his son and, not only willing but actually WANTS a hands on role in his upbringing. Ladies, I highly encourage you to find yourself a Joe or a Daniel Craig. Find yourself a partner who is your teammate when it comes to parenting because it is SOOO hard (though wonderful). Shout out to all those dads out there who wear

“papooses”, burp babies, change diapers, cuddle sick little ones, and make diaper runs. Y’all are great. Keep it up!

The Great Unknown

The Great Unknown

Every since Joe and I met, he has been a student working on his Phd is Geophysics. The past five years have been quite an adventure to say the least. An internship in Midland which meant 3 months long distance….Multiple trips to Alaska to collect data…Hours spent writing and submitting papers for publication. I’ve spent countless hours on a 30-year old couch in the SMU geology lab while Joe slaved away working to achieve his goal. Tomorrow, he will walk across the stage at Moody Colosseum and be hooded, officially becoming Dr. Joseph Batir (but sadly not a rapper which is what it sounds like). What seems like the ending of one adventure is really the beginning of another and as excited as we are, it’s scary!

Joe and I have been clinging to Proverbs 16:9 these last few months: In his heart, man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps. Joe knows what he wants to do and we know where we want to be but, with an industry that was is crisis just a year ago, getting there won’t be easy. We ultimately don’t have control of a lot of things: what job Joe will have, if we will be able to stay in Dallas, what our income is going to look like, etc. We have to trust that God’s plan for us is far better than our plan. He is not surprised by downturns and recessions. He isn’t surprised by delayed graduation and few available opportunities. In fact, He knew these were the situations we would be facing at this very moment in our lives. The great unknown is scary but it is also full of amazing opportunities and adventures and there is no one I’d rather be adventuring with than my husband, Dr. Joe (working on his theme song.. stay tuned!). So here is to new adventures!